Knox bids farewell to Maneuver Captain Career Course
Col. David Teeples, a former Armor chief, presented graduation certificates to the last Maneuver Captain Career Course Soldiers to complete the class at Fort Knox.

Tankers have been coming to Fort Knox for their specialized training since 1940.

The last class of the Maneuver Captain Career Course graduated Nov. 23, closing another chapter of the armor legacy at Fort Knox. Future MC3 courses will be taught exclusively at Fort Benning, Ga., under the auspices of the Maneuver Center of Excellence. The classes have been taught at both installations for the last year, although under the same program of instruction.

The guest speaker at the graduation ceremony was Col. David Teeples, the 43rd chief of armor, who left Fort Knox last year.

"Twenty-three years ago, I sat in your seats," he told the graduating captains as he related his own experiences as a young armor officer. One of his assignments in that class was to develop a command philosophy, which Col. Teeples shared with his audience.

He summarized his tenets for command with four Ts: teamwork, training, trust, and talk. As officers who would soon be commanding company or squad level units, the class members needed to learn to incorporate those four Ts, according to Col. Teeples, who spoke without microphone or podium, rarely standing still. As he paced in front of the group or strolled through the aisles, Col. Teeples often shook hands or patted shoulders of the young men as he walked by, making eye and physical contact.

He closed by saying that Fort Knox is an historic post, and that the class was part of a great legacy, as armor officers and Army officers.

"You are part of the very few who have raised their right hands to serve," he said.

In addition to the Army armor officers, the MC3 course hosts international students, averaging 350 foreign students each year. The 3rd squadron, 16th cavalry regiment is responsible for instructing 19 armor-related courses, including the master gunner course, the Army reconnaissance course, and the cavalry leader course. Students come from the regular Army, reserve and National Guard components.

Although the course's name has changed over the years, the staff estimates that more than 300,000 armor leaders have been trained at Fort Knox. Many of the Army's senior leadership studied under the Knox instructors, to include Gen. Martin Dempsey, Training and Doctrine Command; the Army's current Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli; Gen. James Thurmond, Forces Command; and former armor branch chiefs Gen. Robert Williams and Gen. Donald Campbell. Armor alumni include such notables as the tank's namesake, Gen. Creighton Abrams, retired Gen. B.B. Bell, and the Army's 34th chief of staff and now Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Gen. Eric Shinseki.

According to Lt. Col. Shawn Vail, the commander of 3/16 which oversaw the MC3 at Fort Knox, only three of the current MC3 course instructors will relocate with the course when it moves to Fort Benning next year.

"However, our best practices will be incorporated into the POI at Benning," Lt. Col. Vail said.

Although all future MC3 courses will be taught at Benning-the next one begins in January-the 3/16 squadron will remain at Knox until the last reconnaissance course graduates next year.

"The train is moving and moving fast,"

Lt. Col. Vail observed.

"We have a home at Fort Benning waiting for us. It will be a good thing to have the two primary elements of maneuver in one place."

Page last updated Thu December 2nd, 2010 at 14:20